(AM), British Aerospace (BAe) and Finmeccanica (FNM) have today signed a Heads of Agreement to establish a joint venture in missiles and missile systems bringing together their current activities in this field.
These are – Matra BAe Dynamics (MBD), a 50/50 joint venture of BAe and AM ; the missiles systems divisions of AMS, a 50/50 joint venture of Finmeccanica and Marconi Electronic Systems, which is now finalising its merger with BAe, and the fully owned missiles subsidiary of Aerospatiale Matra.
With a turnover of about Euro 2.5 billion (£ 1.5 billion), the new European missile group will employ over 10,000 people in Italy, the United Kingdom and France and will also hold the 30 per cent shareholding in LFK, the main German guided weapons business, currently owned by MBD.
The Group will be owned 50 % by AMS and 50 % by a holding company jointly owned by BAe (25 %) and AM (75 %), and have a complete range of land and sea based surface to air systems as well as air launched and anti-ship weapons for worldwide customers.
The Group, which will be the prime contractor or main partner in all European missile programmes, has an order book totalling more than four years of predicted future sales.
The Group will combine most of the key participants in the future European Beyond Visual Range Anti-Aircraft Missile (BVRAAM), currently under competition by the British Ministry of Defence, and will bring to that customer an efficient seamless organisation to manage this important programme.
Fabrice Brégier, the current Chief Executive Officer of MBD, will head the Group.
John Weston, Alberto Lina and Philippe Camus, Chief Executives of the respective parent groups said in a joint statement today :
“This move is a natural development in the consolidation of the European aerospace and defence industry. It is in accordance with the wishes of the European Governments with regard to industry consolidation and produces synergies and brings further scale and enhanced technological capability together with additional value for customers and shareholders. “